OPENING DAY 2010, SHS AT EDISON (HNT)
CHARGERS TAKE OPENER AT EDISON BEHIND STOUT, 4-3
BY GREG TUFARO, HOME NEWS TRIBUNE
EDISON — Sophomore left-hander Chris Stout is one of several underclassmen on the Spotswood High School staff who gained invaluable experience pitching against some of the state's best teams last spring.
"The numbers mean nothing," said Spotswood coach Glenn Fredricks, whose staff consists of all sophomores except for one senior and one freshman.
"It's the final result, and for those kids to get out there and get roughed up last year is going to pay dividends for this year and the next two years."
Stout proved his 6.07 ERA of a year ago was not portentous with a complete-game, seven-hitter in 10th-ranked Spotswood's 4-3 victory Saturday over ninth-ranked Edison in a battle of Home News Tribune Top 10 teams.
The Eagles (1-1), projected as a light-hitting club, were coming off a 10-3 upset of fifth-ranked South Brunswick and ace Mike Muha.
Stout worked six innings and earned a no-decision in Spotswood's 3-2 win over Edison a year ago. That game was Stout's best outing of 2009 when opponents batted .344 against him, registering 21 hits (five for extra bases), 17 runs and 10 walks with no strikeouts in 17 innings.
Mixing a fastball with a curve that devastated Edison's lefty hitters Saturday, Stout struck out seven and induced six ground ball outs.
Spotswood shortstop Cody Pace ignited a three-run rally in the visitors' first with a leadoff triple. John Relay and Shawn Weeks had run-scoring groundouts, while Dean Vitale capped the outburst with an RBI single.
Edison starter Vinny Belfiore settled down, surrendering just one run on two hits over the next three innings.
After Edison closed the gap to 3-1 in the third on Nate Fabretti's two-out RBI single to left, Spotswood (1-0) pushed across a paramount insurance run in the next inning.
An intentional walk to Pace with two away and first base open loaded the bases for Matt Mangarella, who walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home a run that gave the Chargers a 4-1 lead.
Reliever Mike Damato, who hurled three scoreless innings, kept it close for Edison, which chipped away at the deficit. The Eagles closed to 4-2 in the fifth when Rob Borwegan drew a two-out walk and scored on Kyle Paganelli's double.
Edison tacked on its final run in the sixth with the first three batters first-ball hitting. Nick Chicarilla and Bryan Duran had consecutive singles before Andrew Sporer belted a sacrifice fly to center.
Paganelli (3-for-4), representing the tying run, was left stranded at first following a two-out single in the home seventh.